County Hopeful Dismisses Smear Tactics

BERLIN – Potentially damaging rumors concerning District 4 county commissioner hopeful Tommy Tucker’s work and business history are just not true, the candidate said this week.

Tucker was principal of Stephen Decatur High School (SDHS) from 1987 to 1991.

Recent reports have it that Tucker had to resign from SDHS after being caught changing his son’s grades in order to earn a college scholarship.

“That rumor has persisted,” Tucker said this week.
The story is not true, Tucker said.

Tucker, a retired high school principal, said the rumor has dogged him off and on for several years, though no one has mentioned it to him recently.

“I left there in very good graces. I’m not certain how or why that rumor persists. Quite frankly, I thought it went away 15 or 20 years ago,” Tucker said. “I left [SDHS] to go to Calvert County. Quite frankly, there was more money involved.”

Calvert County schools tried to hire him several times before he finally took their offer, Tucker said. The first time, he had just signed a contract with Worcester County. The second time, he had just taken over at SDHS. He could not ignore the third offer, Tucker said.

In 1991, Tucker took the third offer and took over Northern High School in Calvert County. The new school, which was larger and had more students than SDHS, offered more money and more responsibility.

Tucker also called a second rumor, about embezzlement at a string of daycare facilities he owned with his first wife, false.

Between them, he and his first wife owned four daycare nurseries, he said. When they divorced, dividing the property took some time, but he ended up with one daycare location, and his first wife ended up with the other three. He then transferred his daycare location back to her when he moved to Calvert County.

Tucker said he remembers that his first wife might have had some trouble with an employee, but does not remember details. His first wife has since died, he said.

The rumors have probably come back simply because he is running for office, in an attempt to smear him, Tucker feels.

Tucker faces fellow Democrat and incumbent Commissioner Virgil Shockley in the Sept. 14 Democratic primary. The winner of the primary contest will face Republican Ted Elder in the general election in November.